A tribute to the Spanish guitar
A spanish guitar -also know as classical guitar -, is a six-stringed guitar with nylon strings. Spanish music is often associated with traditional styles such as flamenco and classical guitar.
The guitar is considered the most representative musical instrument of Spain. Throughout the centuries, the modern guitar (with six strings) has evolved principally from three sources: (1) the Arabic lute, (2) the vihuela, and (3) the Renaissance five-string guitar. The three most outstanding personalities involved in the development of the guitar are, in chronological order, Fernando Sor (of the 18th Century), Francisco Tárrega (of the 19th Century), and Andrés Segovia (of the 20th Century).
With the coming of the Renaissance, inspired in part by Moslem learning brought home by returning Crusaders, the lute become the favorite instrument of Western Europe.
In Spain however, the lute was already overshadowed by a new instrument, the guitar. Two types of guitar were played by the Pyrenees: the vihuela, in the court and among fashionable society, and the guitarra latina, by ordinary folk. The former had eleven strings, five double and one single, and was plucked. The latter had four double strings and was strummed. The vogue of the vihuela reached a peak in the first half of the sixteenth century when many composers wrote works for it. At about the same time a fifth string was added to the guitarra latina, which thereupon gained so rapidly in public favour that by the end of the century it had displaced its rival throughout most of the lberian Peninsula.
During the seventeenth century, as lute-playing declined in popularity, guitars began to find their way abroad to France, Germany and Italy, where the instruments were referred to as "Spanish Guitars".
Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, known as Andrés Segovia, was a virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist from Linares, Spain. He has been regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Many professional classical guitarists today are students of Segovia, or students of his students. Segovia's contribution to the modern-romantic repertoire not only included commissions but also his own transcriptions of classical or baroque works. He is remembered for his expressive performances: his wide palette of tone, and his distinctive musical personality, phrasing and style.
Carlos García Montoya was a prominent Flamenco guitarist and a founder of the modern-day popular Flamenco style of music. His unique style and successful career, despite all odds, have left a great legacy for modern day Flamenco.
Paco de Lucía
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